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The Beatles Solo Albums

Theirs was a difficult act to follow, but how did John, Paul, George and Ringo do withthe challenge of going it alone? Let Steve Harnell be the judge of that

No musicians have ever been presented witha more daunting challenge. What exactly do you do for an encore after being part of the most important and influential pop cultural phenomenon of all time? Over the course of the last 50 years since The Beatles split up in such bitter fashion, the individual parts of the four-headed behemoththat was John, Paul, George and Ringo have served up an extraordinarily diverse collection of solo albums.

In fact, even before the band parted ways, bothJohn and George had begun to fully embrace avant-garde experimentalist music, while Paul has gone on to assemble a singularly individualistic back catalogue that has taken in a classical symphony as well as ambient and electronica, alongside his trademark melodic pop songcraft. Only Ringo – at the peak of his partying powers arguably the most well-connected man in rock, witha bulging address book of A-list collaborators – clung resolutely to a more traditional path, that has frequently referenced the musical styles of his former band.

While they rarely put a foot wrong as Beatles, the wavering quality of the Fab Four’s solo efforts has seen the quartet come under fire for failing to live up to their reputations as the pre-eminent pop and rock force of their age.

But while only the most rabid of Beatles fans could argue the case for some of their weaker efforts (Press To Play anyone?), we have comfortably drawn up a Top 20 of superb solo records by former Beatles that you need to add to your collection. From soul-bearing art-rock to OTT Phil Spector Wall Of Sound extravaganzas and endearing country covers, it’s all here…



Country fan Ringo dabbled in the genre during his Beatles tenure, but his second solo album was wholly Americana in focus. Recorded in just three days in Nashville and engineered by Elvis guitar hero Scotty Moore, this is full of Starr’s trademark easy-going charm – Ringo’s own Nashville Skyline.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 1999… Issue 32 of Long Live Vinyl brings you an exclusive first look inside the huge new 15LP Prince boxset as members of the Purple genius' band and his closest friends tell the story of the original 1999 album. We also hear from Estate Manager Michael Howe why this is only the beginning for Prince collectors. Pick up your copy to find out which releases are coming next from the Paisley Park vault. Elsewhere, in our packed interviews section, we sit down with Elbow, Big Thief, Adam Green and Jason Isbell to chat about their new albums, as well as delving into the history of the legendary Palm Tree label, Island Records, as they celebrate their 60th birthday. Fab Four fans should check out our Essential Beatles solo albums collector's guide. Plus we visit the Premier League referee who's running his own record shop, as well as taking an in-depth look at The XX's Mercury Prize-winning album xx. If all that's not enough, you'll find the widest range of new album, reissue and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today!

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